Monday, January 2


Some experts say civil war is already being waged in Iraq.

"When people talk about 'Will there be a civil war?' they are really talking about a different type of civil war," he said.

The kind of war emerging in Iraq, characterized by guerrilla attacks, kidnappings, assassinations and "ethnic cleansing," is typical of modern civil conflicts, Fearon said.

"Since 1945, almost all civil wars, a big plurality, have been guerrilla wars where it is kind of insurgency versus counterinsurgency," he said. "Most civil wars look more like what we are seeing in Iraq now."

The presence of U.S. troops in the conflict would not be unusual, he said. "A great number [of civil wars] have involved foreign intervention. But I would still call it a civil war on grounds that the insurgents are attacking and killing far more Iraqis than U.S. troops."

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